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Back in February, a certain Toyota SUV sold for over $80,000, and the crazy thing is that it was not even new. This SUV is a quirky vehicle offered by Toyota until 2014, and it is known as the FJ Cruiser. While the FJ Cruiser is still sold in the Middle East, Toyota only offered it from 2007 to 2014 here in the States. And frankly, it was likely ahead of its time. It offered capability, rugged looks, and four-wheel drive. Now, used prices for the FJ Cruiser are going crazy. 

What is the Toyota FJ Cruiser?

With its roots dating back to the 1990s, the FJ Cruiser was an SUV designed by Toyota to be rugged and functional. The concept was revealed in 2003 at the Detroit Auto Show, and little was changed from the concept to the production model. 

Toyota went to great lengths to put the FJ Cruiser to the test. Taking it to some of the most complex trails in the United States. Notable exterior features include an old-school Toyota logo, boxy design, and even three windshield wipers. 

On the inside, there is no mistaking that the FJ Cruiser was built for the road less traveled. There are oversized switches and knobs, plus some gauges like an inclinometer to help with off-roading. After heavy off-road use, the washable surfaces are easily cleaned thanks to the materials used. 

Why is the FJ Cruiser so expensive?

Simply put, the FJ Cruiser has become an expensive used SUV because it is unique. It’s ideal for things like overlanding and off-roading, and there’s really nothing else like it in the modern era. In fact, with today’s off-roading enthusiasts and the popularity of these kinds of vehicles, it seems like it would make sense for Toyota to bring back the FJ Cruiser in one form or another. 

A Toyota FJ Cruiser with its doors open.
Toyota FJ Cruiser | Ken Hively via Getty Images

Until then, the used market is going nuts for these vehicles. Pristine models can easily fetch over $30,000, and even high-mileage examples come with a hefty price tag. In terms of its powerplant, the FJ Cruiser uses a 4.0-liter V6. Although not all that efficient, it does make 260 horsepower and 271 pound-foot of torque. 

Additionally, you could get the Toyota SUV with a six-speed manual transmission. Though strangely, it was only offered to models equipped with 4WD. 

The cost of the FJ Cruiser in today’s market can be a little bit confusing. You can get a used 4Runner that arguably has more utility than the FJ, for less money. But, the 4Runner certainly lacks the charm of the FJ Cruiser. 

Should you buy a Toyota FJ Cruiser?

If you are interested in an off-road vehicle and have the proper budget, the FJ Cruiser is a capable SUV that stands out from the crowd. That is especially true if you can find one in its iconic blue paint job. 

According to TFLcar, the FJ Cruiser is even competent on the pavement. And that gives it a slight edge over something like a Jeep Wrangler. Plus, you get the perceived reliability that comes from a Toyota SUV. And to some, that might be worth paying a premium for.


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